In late December, the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) and State of Alaska issued a joint statement affirming that Campbell Lake is a navigable waterway open to public use per the State constitution. The joint statement confirmed the existence of two overland public access easements providing public access to the lake. However, neither the MOA nor the State indicated plans to survey, sign or develop the public access corridors to the lake, which is the largest in Anchorage. Realizing the pressing need for the public to know the precise location of the easements, Alaska Landmine Editor-in-Chief Jeff Landfield created a GoFundMe campaign so that members of the public could donate funds to survey the easement.
45 donors contributed the $2,000 necessary to fund the survey. Donors included several prominent Alaskans, including a Palmer City Councilwoman, an Anchorage Assembly Member, an Alaska Sports Hall of Fame member, and a media personality. Many others donated anonymously.
Shane Stragier at Frontier Surveys agreed to survey the easement and create a 3D drone video at a reduced rate. Shane came highly recommended and was a pleasure to work with. Over the last week, Frontier Surveys performed the following work:
- Subject lots platting research
- Section line easement verification research through the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Bureau of Land Management land status records
- Staked the pedestrian access and section line easements
- Provided drawing exhibits of the easements for the public’s informational use
The 3D drone video will be completed soon. An unidentified person called the FAA impersonating the survey company and things got pretty loose.
The following survey documents show the precise locations of the easements:
The Landmine visited both easements on Wednesday. The easements were well-marked and easy to traverse. The red dashed lines show what we believe to be the most straightforward routes across the easements. Note that these public easements predate the adjacent homes by decades.
Tomorrow, the humorously-titled event Storm Campbell Lake, They Can’t Stop All Of Us will be taking place on the frozen lake. There will be free burgers and drinks for anyone who wishes to attend. The Landmine did not create this event but we will join to help out and take photos. This kind of event on Campbell Lake would have been unthinkable months ago.
We believe it is important for all Alaskans to be able to enjoy our public spaces. The framers of the Alaska Constitution believed this too. Ultimately, everyone benefits from Alaska’s constitutional right to access navigable waterways and other public places.
We hope to see you all on Campbell Lake in the coming months and years.
Campbell Lake series
This article is part of the Alaska Landmine's coverage of Campbell Lake access
Special FeatureThe bizarre story of Campbell Lake, the private lake that isn't
ArticleMillions of public dollars spent to dam and maintain “private” Campbell Lake
ArticleNew documents reveal coordinated effort to eliminate Campbell Lake public access
ArticleState of Alaska, Municipality of Anchorage issue joint statement: Campbell Lake is a public lake
ArticleCampbell Lake public access easements have been surveyed and marked!
ArticleCampbell Lake HOA submits letters to State alleging Campbell Lake is a private lake
ArticleProblems with Campbell Lake public access escalate
ArticleHouse Finance Committee approves marked access on Campbell Lake Easements
The Landfill: Humor, Satire, and ParodyCampbell Lake homeowners say they will build a wall, “make Anchorage pay for it”
Thank God for the rule of law over the rule of men. Thanks Jeff…….
God had nothing to do with this, Lynn. The will of women and men alike wanted justice.
Very graceful, Lynn. Not many have the poise to write so simply as you. Well done.
So does this mean that the lake will receive public funding now?
The lake has received public funding for years used by the Campbell lake HOA.i think they need to pay it ALL back. As well as the public funds spent on the dam that hasn’t been certified for at least two years.the dam has to go!!!
Wait… if the dam goes, doesn’t the lake go as well? Then what’s the point of the access issue?
I’m unfamiliar with the laws in Alaska but if the operators permit on a dam is allowed to lapse and the structure has deficiencies it immediately moves to the “remove” list and is prioritized. The reason for this is the sooner the process starts the higher the likelihood of being able to recover the costs for removal from the owners. It also prevents the accumulation of timebombs scattered across the landscape that cost exponential $$$ to remove down the road. Besides, their property values are based on having “private” float plane access to their backyards. Removing the dams would grab… Read more »
I would like to see a story that looks into how the homes were permitted to be built in the easements.
Yes, please! And what happens next with that house…
Also, I noticed Sunday afternoon that there was a no trespassing sign placed in front of the trail that people used to access the lake on the north side. I didn’t check closer to see if the lathe marking the easement were still there. I foresee more of a fight.
FYI to all, Boaters have the right away over floatplanes. Don’t let the aircraft owners tell you other-wise.
I love your journalism!
Does that mean the City will be responsible for maintaining the lake?
We accessed from the north side easement today (1/25) and a resident on one side told us we were trespassing and said she was going to call the police.
This was all just the beginning and soon the situation needs to go to the state and local levels. The house needs to go and the ROW clearly marked by DNR or the municipality. Private landowners confronting people who are lawfully accessing public land is not a tenable solution.
I agree! I do t mind helping to get these easements more clearly marked!
What the heck?!? Should t that be illegal to harass someone using a legal right of way?
Which street do you go down to the lake for the North side access? Curlew or?
The North access is at the corner of Jewel Lake Rd and North Point Dr. A troll evidently inhabits and guards one of the homes adjacent to the easement and may claim that you are on private property. However, a public easement crosses the property and both the city and state have stated that it is legal to cross it. The Anchorage police have been briefed on this issue and will not respond to lawful use of the easement, which does not require the homeowner’s permission.
What would you define as lawful use of the easement? It seems to me we only want a pedestrian corridor, to be the most respectful. The entire easement is not a corridor. The homeowner should have rights too. I’ve spoken with him and he doesn’t mind people using the lake at all. It’s a matter of respect for both sides.
Respect for established Alaska law is the issue here. The entire northern easement remains a section line easement. Regardless of the temperament of the person who owns this property or his statements to you, the entire north easement was never vacated and is, in fact, a public use corridor. The Department of Natural Resources could lawfully approve the construction of a road or boat access right down the middle of the easement without compensation to the landowner. The state reserved this public property right before the land passed into private hands, which means that the owner of the property was… Read more »
Well, yes and no. By one count, the city should not have any legal challenge to the idea of building on this easement, be it directly through the house or not. On the other hand, whenever municipalities or cities typically engage in such construction on existing easements, landowners are typically compensated if their built property has be destroyed or relocated to accommodate the new construction. And it’s certainly true that his building permit should’ve never been granted in the first place, but that doesn’t absolve the city or municipality from respecting the right he does have over the structure(not the… Read more »